Lois Hjelmstad

Lois Hjelmstad.com

Compassion and courage for the times you need it.

Two months to the day after I found my father dead in his bed, it was my birthday. I was on a speaking tour in the Northwest. Early that morning, I walked along the shore of the Pacific Ocean: 

A Birthday Mourning

A birthday morning—
an ocean shore, far from home
whitecaps blend
into the mist above
driftwood lies gray upon the sand
relics of places distant, days of yore

A birthday morning—
my first as an orphan,
the woman who bore me gone three years and more
the man who sired me, ashes encrypted

A birthday mourning—
for the two who gave me life

and where am I
under this threatening sky?

Who am I
and when
shall I die?

(Excerpted from The Last Violet: Mourning My Mother, Moving Beyond Regret ©2022 Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad)


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